Introduction / History
The island of Annobon was discovered uninhabited by Portuguese explorers on January 1, 1471.Hence its name, Annobon or Ambo (Goodyear). It was subsequently populated by Gabonese and others, who speak a Portuguese-based Creole also used on the islands of Sao Tome and Principe. The people of Ambo live as one with the ocean, with fish being their primary source of protein. The women give birth in the ocean. The annual whale migration to Annobon sparks a festive hunt, with men harpooning whales from canoes, and then "skiing" behind the whale using huge, homemade ropes. The Annobonese are hardy, quick learners, Jacks-of-all-trades, quite resistant to cultural change, but quite receptive to technological change.
The 2500 Annobonese, and the 100 speakers in Sao Tome and Principe, have never had any Scriptures translated into their language. While there have been Catholic and Adventist mission stations there for some time, there has never been an evangelical mission outreach to the people of Annobon. There are a handful of known evangelical believers among this group, all of whom came to Christ through church contacts in Malabo or the mainland. Two thousand years after Christ, it would seem that the time has come for the Church of Jesus Christ to care enough to make the investment of reaching these precious and isolated islanders.
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